The Creator Series - Keiko Brodeur
Keiko Brodeur is an illustrator based in Los Angeles, California. She enjoys drawing and painting nature and learning about traveling and cultural lifestyles, which reflects in her work. Her illustrations are used on various stationery, prints and paper goods. We love her work as it has a real sense of adventure and sentiment, and we think its a great addition to our curios. We have her 'What to pack' prints available in Backpacking, Fly Fishing and Canoeing. They're also available in a 'What to pack' card box set. There are more items to come from Brodeur in the next couple of weeks too. Stock is limited, so catch them while you can.
1.Tell us a bit about yourselfI'm originally from the Southern California area and am currently living in Los Angeles. I studied to become a musician my whole life and then in college decided to change to graphic design because the visual arts have always drawn me in. Later on I discovered that maybe straight graphic design wasn't the path for me so I started playing around with other mediums. I think I didn't do much illustration in college out of fear, but I was always pouring over other illustrators' websites much more than I was looking at other graphic designers' work. I guess I should have figured out that illustration was the right career path much sooner than I did.
2. How did you start out as an illustrator? After having a few creative jobs which weren't as creatively fulfilling as I had hoped, I began playing around with making crafts and drawing. The drawing really stuck and I found it to be the most rewarding creative process for me.
3. Are you a collector, or have a collection of anything? Oh yes. I've always been a huge collector and hoarder of all kinds of things ever since I was little. I had a huge rock, stick and pog (remember those?) collection that filled up most of my dresser drawers. Right now I think my biggest collections are books and little knick knacks. I recently started collecting old Golden Nature Guide books as I find them very inspirational for Small Adventure and I also have a ton of pine cones for some reason.
4. What is your most treasured item you own? This is a hard one. There are a lot of items I really treasure. A postcard collection that was my grandmother's, a record player my dad gave me, all kinds of gifts from my mom and sister. I think the most meaningful of those are the drawings my husband has made for me over the past 10 years we've known each other. He's an extremely talented illustrator and cartoonist. If you'd like to look him up his name is Malachi Ward. The things he's made for me aren't indicative of the work he usually does but you'll easily see how skilled he is when you see anything he's done.
5. Who/what inspires you and your work? Looking at other creators' work, especially illustrators', is the most motivating for me. But if I scour the internet too much at a time it can also be debilitating because I start comparing myself negatively to others. Sometimes just getting away from actually working and instead sitting and thinking of ideas can be the most inspirational. I find that if I just think and let my mind wander for awhile a flood of ideas rushes into my head and then I'm excited to get working on them. Of course, finding the time to do that is also a challenge.
6. Do you know of any childhood fables/tales? It's funny you should ask this as I've started looking for old children's books that tell cultural fables. I'm going to use them as research for some personal illustration work, but those old stories are really intriguing to me. Especially when formatted for children. I don't think I know of any off the top of my head, but my most recent acquisition is a book of Russian folktales called Folktales of the Amur. It has really beautiful illustrations in it.
7. Do you have a lucky charm? Hmm, no I don't think I ever have. I've had items that I kept on my person (mostly when I was a kid) but it was more out of an obsession than good luck.
8. Where your favourite place in the world and why? Wherever I get to travel with my husband is the best place. We haven't done much of it because of our busy schedules/being poor but I'm looking forward to traveling more often with him in the future. Otherwise I really love sitting at my desk and drawing while watching something on my iPad and eating a snack.
9. What do you listen to when you work? A variety of music, podcasts and tv shows/movies. I'm always trying to find new things to occupy the quiet when I'm working at home. It can get lonely and I sometimes feel pent up. But I do love finding just the right thing to listen to or watch while drawing. I can be pretty productive when I find the right balance of entertainment.
10. Can you take a pic of your workspace?